Friday, April 27, 2012

Secret Sins of the Secret Service

Are you getting tired of the daily news coverage of the Secret Service sex scandal? One editorial read, “The word “secret” in ‘Secret Service’ will never be the same!” Their secret sin made me think of Paul's words, “For it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret” (Eph 5:12).
But there is another meaning to the phrase secret sins, one more relevant to us. David says “who will acquit me of my secret sins [or hidden faults]” (Ps. 19:12). The common interpretation of “secret faults” is those that are hidden from the one who committed them, unconscious sins, sins of ignorance.

Augustine said: “Secret sins, sins which my conscience has been unable to detect, are like private conspirators. They must be hunted out or they may do deadly mischief; it is well to be much in prayer concerning them.” His words reveal the heart of a man who wants nothing to separate him from God. Likewise, David prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me” (Ps 139:23-24). It takes faith to pray that way. And that’s no secret.


  1. In Hebrew, the phrase translated "offensive way" has a much broader meaning. It is formed by two nouns:
    1. 'ôtseb: an idol (as fashioned); also pain (bodily or mental).
    Normally, evertything that remains an idol in our lives is a source of pain, and it usurps the place in our hearts that belongs to God.
    2. derek: a road (as trodden); fig. a course of life or mode of action.
    So if there is idolatry in my life, in any form, as a way of life, as something practiced in my life, a maintained attitude or way of being or thinking, Lord detect it by your Spirit, uproot it from my life, and cleanse me. Fill me with Your Word and Presence instead.

  2. As a counselor (not a therapist!) I so appreciate that the Holy Spirit is working inside of each of us to reveal things that therapy would take years to try to discover!! Freud spoke of years of psychoanalysis. Thank God He reveals the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb 4:12)!!!!